Tag Archives: FLDS

“Breaking the Faith”- TLC® Reality TV (videos)

We will take a short break in our comparison of Peoples Temple and Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) to bring you a video of a new reality television show. This show is about young people wanting to leave the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS) which is a group in the news a lot in the past few years. Warren Jeffs is their prophet and he is in jail serving time for charges related to their practices of underage marriage to older men in the group. I had not watched the show or seen any videos until a blog reader made me aware of them in the last few minutes. The videos are short and I have included two of them.

This post will take quotes from the audio and make comparisons to the life I lived inside of WOFF. The main comparison is the extreme control and also the blind dedication to this imprisoned leader. There are some quotes after the video…

Prayers for the Prophet-

Continue reading “Breaking the Faith”- TLC® Reality TV (videos)

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Did You Win a Medal? (Videos)

As a beginning, let me thank all the faithful supporters and blog readers who have contacted me over these last few weeks to check on me. Yes, it has been over five weeks since I have written a post. What would explain the absence? In part, I will share that I have been recounting the losses and assessing the aftermath of my time at Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). At times, I have ignored or denied that the losses were as devastating as they actually turned out to be. During these last few weeks, life events have occurred for the family that remains inside WOFF. I was not invited, asked to participate or briefed on the outcome.  There has been no contact in reference to these events or others that are yet to come. Admittedly, it would have been awkward to revisit WOFF, as I am told that I am forbidden to step foot on their property. Shocked?  All that being said, it is still regrettable beyond words, and more accurately, a severe life-changing emotional tragedy to realize the outcome for once being a part of Jane Whaley’s kingdom. Words are often shallow and do not come with enough color or accuracy to describe to others the pain of losing the family you had been with for over twenty years- all in the name of a religious cult.

But, where will I go from here? That is still to be determined. For certain, I don’t plan to stay in the gully of despair or in the ditch of rejection and pass the days away lamenting what could have been. No. In conjunction with recounting the losses, I have been setting my sights on the future. As other survivors learn, I have also found to be true; the road to a positive future can sometimes be elusive and hard to navigate. What do the next few years hold? None of us knows for sure. But, I am determined to find a more rewarding life-path than these last four years have been.

Continue reading Did You Win a Medal? (Videos)

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“Sons of Perdition” from OWN Documentary Club (2)

    A few weeks ago, I received the “Sons of Perdition- The Story of Polygamy’s Exiled Youth” documentary in the mail. This film is from the OWN Network. We have previously mentioned this film on this blog. The credits are many, so here is the list from the back cover- IMPACT PARTNERS and BBC STORYVILLE present a LEFT RUN FILMS production in association with MOTTO PICTURES and CACTUS THREE. Editor – Jenny Golden, executive producers- Diana Barrett, Abigail Disney, Caroline Stevens, Krysanne Katsoolis. Copyright©2010 Virgil Films and Entertainment, LLC.  There is a website for the film- “sonsofperditionthemovie.com”. The film is rated “R”. The film contains “street talk” as well as some scenes of alcohol and drug use. It is all a part of the true story. On the DVD there is also an option for a “family friendly language track”.

   Honestly, I put off watching this film after I came home from work for several hours. I knew it would be remind me of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). However, it was so timely considering the exit drama which has unfolded over the past few weeks concerning a young man who has come out of WOFF. As I reviewed this film, I will compare and contrast to my experience at WOFF and my understanding since I left in July 2008. We have compared the practices of the Fundamental Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) to WOFF in previous posts. There are many of the same practices in both groups and there are also several practices which are not shared.

  We pick up our review at the beginning of chapter two of the documentary. There you meet Kevin Black. He is working in a garage. He says he has been out of Colorado City for eleven years. Kevin gives a short history of the FLDS and says several statements of note. Those in the group “believe polygamy was never supposed to be outlawed and they live it no matter the cost.” In this country, we are allowed by our “religious freedom”, to pursue lifestyles and certain choices- “no matter the cost.” This goes on even to the destruction or denial of certain other God-given freedoms outlined and protected in our Constitution. As in WOFF, in FLDS there was the pursuit of certain lifestyle choices at the denial and refusal to exercise and live certain other accepted social freedoms that many consider basic. Is this direction for a group or individuals prudent? For adults, it may be accepted, but, when children are involved and their choices of limiting their freedoms are made for them and their reality does not include certain freedoms, I consider that detrimental and destructive. We can presume that obviously, Kevin Black did also, or he would still be in the group.  

   Continue reading “Sons of Perdition” from OWN Documentary Club (2)

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“Sons of Perdition” from OWN Documentary Club (1)

  This past Friday, I received the “Sons of Perdition- The Story of Polygamy’s Exiled Youth” documentary in the mail. This film is from the OWN Network. We have previously mentioned this film on this blog. The credits are many, so here is the list from the back cover- IMPACT PARTNERS and BBC STORYVILLE present a LEFT RUN FILMS production in association with MOTTO PICTURES and CACTUS THREE. Editor – Jenny Golden, executive producers- Diana Barrett, Abigail Disney, Caroline Stevens, Krysanne Katsoolis. Copyright©2010 Virgil Films and Entertainment, LLC.  There is a website for the film- “sonsofperditionthemovie.com”. The film is rated “R”. The film contains “street talk” as well as some scenes of alcohol and drug use. It is all a part of the true story. On the DVD there is also an option for a  “family friendly language track”.

   Honestly, I put off watching this film after I came home from work for several hours. I knew it would be remind me of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). However, this is so timely considering the exit drama which has unfolded over the last two weeks concerning a young man who has come out of WOFF. As I review this film, I will compare and contrast to my experience at WOFF and my understanding since I left in July 2008. We have compared the practices of the Fundamental Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) to WOFF in pervious posts. There are many of the same practices in both groups and there are also several practices which are not shared.

   The film starts with scenes from “The Crick”- a settlement also called Colorado City, located on the Utah and Arizona border. As scenes are shown of FLDS members tending their garden and riding horses, the voice of Warren Jeffs is heard saying, “Oh, young people, eternity was (is) within your reach, if you will just live faithful so the Prophet can place you properly in marriage. I want you to believe these stories. There are no monogamous in heaven. The men have many wives and that is the way men become gods and wives become heavenly mothers. I want to tell you young people, it is a sin to even talk about boy-friends and girl-friends, because you know the right way. But, what happens to people that turn away from this? The Revelation says they will be destroyed.”   

   Continue reading “Sons of Perdition” from OWN Documentary Club (1)

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Jane Whaley and Resurrected Indians?

  In a recent post titled, “The Short Creek Effect”, we cited resource material from “Escape” written by Carolyn Jessop. (“Escape”- authors Carolyn Jessop and Laura Palmer, Copyright©2007 by Visionary Classics, LLC, published by Broadway Books, ISBN 978-0-7679-2756-7). We are continuing on with references found in the chapter titled “Child’s Play”. Jessop recounts the games and adventures of her childhood. She grew up a part of the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS) which practices polygamy.

   The game she explains in detail was “apocalypse”. “It was magic, our version of hide-and-seek… We grew up knowing a lot about the end of the world. It had been drilled into us in Sunday school that we were God’s chosen people. When the end times would come, we would be saved.” (page 24) As I read this I remembered how many other religious cults taught that they “were God’s chosen people”. Do I need to list them? My perspective also comes from my time in Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). Teachings about the end times were sporadic and at times murky in WOFF. But, no doubt we were God’s chosen people. Well, if you pressed on to know the Lord, stayed at WOFF and kept submitting to the authority of God- which was embodied in Jane Whaley. Your place in the will of God was always tied to your continued attendance at WOFF. After all, why would God tell you to leave “the will of God”? So, even if the exact words were not used consistently, it was clearly understood and said that “there may be other folks walking in the Truth, but, we had not found them yet.” Being at WOFF made you special. We move on.

    Jessop continues, “When the end times would come, we would be saved, the wicked killed, and the world destroyed. I was too young to question these ideas; they were my spiritual ABCs. Contrary to what most would think, we were not taught the end of the world was a bad thing. Not at all. It was a good thing because it would usher in a thousand years of peace… There was one caveat; before God slaughtered the wicked, he would allow them to try to kill his chosen people. (It should have made us wonder, but we didn’t.) We were taught the government (which was wicked) would move into our community and try to kill every man, woman, and child. But since we had been faithful to God and kept his word, he’d hear our prayers and protect us.” (page 24) Again, as we read this, remember that these ideas were taught over and over to the young children. It became accepted and so common place that at least from Jessop’s account there was very little doubt expressed or even the least bit of critical thinking in reference to these FLDS “truths”. Why should that shock us? Why should it shock me? As a result of the mind control methods used in this group, critical thinking was for the most part non-existent.

   Continue reading Jane Whaley and Resurrected Indians?

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The Short Creek Effect

   Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer wrote “Escape” (Copyright©2007 by Visionary Classics, LLC, published by Broadway Books, ISBN 978-0-7679-2756-7). We have reviewed this book previously in a guest post written by Lahna Morakis. Honestly, I have had a copy for a while, but had not picked it up until recently. From the back cover, “ESCAPE provides an astonishing look behind the tightly drawn curtains of the FLDS church (Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints), one of the most secretive religious groups in the United States. The story Carolyn Jessop tells is so weird and shocking that one hesitates to believe a sect like this, with 10,000 polygamous followers, could really exist in twenty-first-century America. But, Jessop’s courageous, heart-wrenching account is absolutely factual. This riveting book reminds us that truth can indeed be much, much stranger than fiction.”  –Jon Krakauer, author of Under the Banner of Heaven, Into Thin Air, and Into the Wild.

   This book follows my other reads on this religious cult. I have read books by Flora Jessop “Church of Lies”, Brent Jeffs, “Lost Boy” and Elisa Walls, “Stolen Innocence”. We have reviewed each of these books as well as made several comparisons to the practices of Warren Jeffs, leader of FLDS and Jane Whaley, leader of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF).

   In “Escape”, Carolyn Jessop begins with her childhood memories in Salt Lake City, Utah. She tells of the influence of her Grandma and how this relationship shaped her outlook. “Listening to my grandmother talk, I felt like I was being rocked in a cradle of specialness. Grandma made me feel unique, but not in a traditional way. She taught me that I had been blessed by God with an opportunity to come into a family where the generations of women had sacrificed their feelings and given up things of this world to preserve the work of God and prove worthy of the celestial kingdom of God.” (page 19) With this book, as with the others, I will compare the memories and observations of the writers about their life in FLDS with my experience in WOFF.

  Continue reading The Short Creek Effect

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Update- Warren Jeffs Sentenced and a Poem from George S. Patton, Jr.

   In Texas, a jury of his peers sentenced Warren Jeffs to life plus 20 years for his crimes against women under his control. The trial lifted the skirt of the secretive religious cult and allowed the world a glimpse into the ways of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). In this post, I have included a couple of quotes from the article listed below and will share some observations about why I believe the control used by Warren Jeffs is very similar or in many ways the same as what Jane Whaley used/uses at Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF).    

Warren Jeffs sentenced to life plus 20 years in prison as picture emerges of 50 brides, bred to worship the polygamous ‘prophet’

By Paul Bentley  Last updated at 5:54 PM on 9th August 2011

Standing neatly side by side, 50 young girls pose as if for a school yearbook, their smiles every bit as uniform as their pastel outfits and tightly quiffed hairdos.

Their innocent enthusiasm is focussed on one goal alone – worshipping the man framed behind them, who has cruelly bred them for manipulation.

As a Texas jury sentenced Jeffs to life plus 20 years in prison for his crimes as their church leader, extraordinary pictures have emerged of the wives of the notorious polygamist, offering insight into the twisted world of subjugation with which he surrounded himself.

Brides of the Prophet
Brides of the Prophet

Jeffs, the 55-year-old self-proclaimed prophet and leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was last week convicted of two counts of sexually assaulting a child – one 12 and one 14-year-old.

Today, after less than half an hour of deliberations, the jury at court in Texas sentenced him to the maximum possible time behind bars for his crimes.

Jeffs’s wives were both the victims of his abuse and the accomplices, subjected to a cruel world of worship and sexual abuse, while also proving their worth to their leader by holding down their peers while they were assaulted.

Continue reading Update- Warren Jeffs Sentenced and a Poem from George S. Patton, Jr.

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